JAKARTA – The initial batch of 11 newly sworn-in Peace Corps Volunteers have now reached their assigned areas — five in East Java, four in West Java, and two in East Nusa Tenggara/NTT — after U.S. and Indonesian representatives welcomed the return of U.S. Peace Corps to Indonesia last week. For the next two years, the volunteers will work alongside Indonesian teachers and students in support of English language learning.
“These volunteers will play an important role in developing and nurturing cross-cultural relationships between the United States and Indonesia,” said U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Y. Kim. “Since 1961, the Peace Corps has been guided by its mission to promote world peace and friendship. More than 241,000 volunteers have served in 141 countries and exemplify one of the great strengths of the American character: the willingness to help others. I know that our new Peace Corps Volunteers will demonstrate ingenuity, creativity, and compassion while working side by side with host country counterparts.”
The swearing-in ceremony was held in Mojokerto, East Java and attended by heads of Seduri Village and Leminggir Village, representatives of the Mojosari Sub-district, representatives from Mojokerto Regency, the Country Director of Peace Corps Indonesia, representatives of the Indonesian government, and representatives from the U.S. Consulate General Surabaya.
“I want to recognize and express my gratitude to the community members who have opened their hearts and their homes to the trainees,” said Christie Scott, Country Director of Peace Corps Indonesia. “We honor you today for your kindness, your willingness to share your culture, and your generosity in creating a space for the trainees to learn Bahasa Indonesia and experience all the joys of living in Indonesia.”
Representing the Working Group for Peace Corps Indonesia was Anang Ristanto, the Acting Head of the Cooperation and Public Relations Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology. “Congratulations to the 11 Peace Corps Volunteers for your swearing-in. Your role will be very significant in improving the English language skills of teachers and students and enriching learning concepts of our emancipated learning curriculum. I hope during your service you will have lots of cultural and language exchange opportunity in Indonesia,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, the Head of Leminggir Village, H. Khusaeni in his remarks representing the community said, “All residents welcome the presence of the volunteers with pride. The community told me that the American people are kind and polite. Many things can be learned from the existence of these volunteers in the community. Besides being able to get to know each other, people can also exchange cultures with foreigners. It was a very valuable experience.”
About Peace Corps and Peace Corps Indonesia:
Peace Corps is a people-to-people organization, providing human resources to help with community development. It is an independent U.S. government agency that provides volunteers to countries requesting assistance around the world. Since 1961, more than 240,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 142 countries around the world to exemplify one of the great strengths of the American character: the willingness to help others.
In Indonesia, Peace Corps started in 2010 with 18 volunteers placed in East Java growing to more than 100 volunteers at the time of the global evacuation in March 2020, and the newly sworn-in 11 volunteers will join 575 other Americans who have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Indonesia since 2010.
Prior to their assignment, Peace Corps Volunteers receive an 11-week intensive Pre-Service Training (PST) in Indonesia in order to work effectively at a permanent site/school, during which they also learn Bahasa Indonesia and/or another Indonesian language. Besides teaching a minimum of 20 classroom hours per week in the classroom and supporting English teacher training activities at the school and district level, Peace Corps Volunteers also conduct community-based tutoring and English instruction, and engage in a variety of extracurricular activities at their schools such as English clubs, leadership camps, English competitions, peer-tutoring, World Map Projects, library development, literacy initiatives, and providing training for English teachers. To help them integrate into their communities, Peace Corps Volunteers in Indonesia live with a host family throughout their service. The school identifies potential host families and Peace Corps staff assess and select the family. Peace Corps Volunteers do not receive salary, they live at the level of the local community and become integrated into the fabric of their assigned school and community. Interested schools can apply for a Peace Corps Volunteer through Peace Corps Indonesia’s website.
For more information about the Peace Corps and its work in Indonesia, please visit https://www.peacecorps.gov/indonesia/